UK Gov’t Doubles SMarT Budget

More than 400 extra cadets will be trained in maritime roles every year thanks to a GBP 15 million (USD 21.2 million) funding boost announced by the UK government today.

The investment, which will double the support for young people to GBP 30 million a year, will be offered through Support for Maritime Training (SMarT), enabling the annual intake of cadets to rise from 750 to 1,200.

Announcing the decision, Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister, said: “We are building the maritime workforce of tomorrow and I want to encourage more young people to consider an exciting and rewarding career at sea.”

“By doubling the funding for cadet training, we will help make sure that our engineers and captains of the future can access the right opportunities to reach their full potential,” Ghani added.

The SMarT Plus proposal was developed by UK Chamber of Shipping and trade union Nautilus.

Shipping companies including Maersk Line, Stena Line, Carnival UK, BP and Shell have pledged to create an extra 450 training positions on board ships.

As explained, these positions will give SMarT cadets the experience at sea that will help them gain internationally recognized qualifications.

The funding will increase annually over seven years to fulfill demand for seafarer training.

“Nothing will prove that the UK is open for business quite like seeing more British seafarers arrive in the world’s ports. We already recruit people from all backgrounds and all corners of the country, and with this new investment we will be able to create thousands of new opportunities in the years ahead,” Guy Platten, UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive, commented.

“This is very welcome news and represents a huge victory for the union’s Charter for Jobs campaign,” Mark Dickinson, Nautilus General Secretary, said.